The organizers of Tokyo 2020 asked the army for help to have enough medical personnel amid the pandemic.


The Olympic and Paralympic Games authorities consider that they need about 230 doctors and 310 nurses a day to meet the needs of the participants.

The organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games asked the Government to send medical personnel from the Self-Defense Forces (army) to meet the event's needs, the Executive revealed on Tuesday.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi made the request known during a parliamentary session. He stated that they are considering carrying out this mobilization of troops.

"We would like to coordinate so we can support both the Olympics and the operations of the military-run mass vaccination centers" that opened in Tokyo and Osaka on Monday to speed up immunization in the country, Kishi said in remarks—collected by the public chain NHK.

According to Kishi, a total of 280 military doctors and nurses were mobilized to these centers on Monday.

The supply of health personnel and means is one of the great pending tasks of the Games less than two months after its opening, together with the implementation of measures against the coronavirus.

The organizers estimate that they will need about 230 doctors and 310 nurses a day to meet the needs of the participants during the sports competition, as explained last week by the president of Tokyo 2020, Seiko Hashimoto, who said that they have already secured around 80 % of those figures.

Both the Japanese Government and the organizers insist that it is possible to hold a "safe" Games in Japan, which keeps its most populated areas, including Tokyo, in a state of emergency due to the fourth wave of COVID-19 going through.

Japan is far behind in the vaccination campaign compared to other developed countries. About 5% of its population has received at least one dose of the vaccine since it began to be administered in mid-February. Just over 2% have the full schedule.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) promotes vaccination among participants. It expects that more than 80% of the residents of the Olympic Village will arrive immunized.

The Japanese minister in charge of the Olympics, Tamayo Marukawa, said Tuesday that they would provide free vaccines for around 20,000 people, including athletes and other participants.